Handbook | Music | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts



Welcome to the School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. We hope that your studies here will be positive, challenging, and enjoyable. This handbook is not meant to replace the University Catalog. However, it may provide you with a quick and concise answer to some of our most frequently asked questions you. If need additional information, seek answers from your applied teacher, the coordinator of your degree program, the academic advisor, and/or the music staff in the main office of the School of Music.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the School of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. This relationship assures constant evaluation of our quality by an external, objective organization, and continuous self-evaluation aimed at maintaining the rigorous standards required for accreditation.

School of Music Mission

The School of Music is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence through the development of an art, which enables the individual to find meaning and fulfillment as an educated member of society, as an expressive human being, and as an artist. This mission is primarily fulfilled by providing educational opportunities that prepare students for graduation with Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees and careers in music or music-related fields. The School of Music strives to advance the art of music by promoting the research/creative activities of its students and faculty. It also seeks to enrich the lives of all members of the University and the region by means of a continuing program of concerts, educational offerings, scholarly/artistic exchanges, and outreach programs.

School of Music Goals

  1. To provide educational opportunities which prepare students for graduation with baccalaureate and graduate degrees and for careers in music and music-related fields.

  2. To provide a variety of musical experiences and opportunities for the study of music for the general university student.

  3. To stimulate the creative participation of the music faculty in musical performance and composition, in scholarly research and in the personal quest for more effective methods of teaching.

  4. To enhance the musical growth in the region through public concerts on campus and in area communities and schools.

  5. To provide educational resources in support of professional performers and teachers and others concerned with the art and practice of music.

  6. To work cooperatively with other programs of the University in a supportive and mutually advantageous way.

  7. To develop a continuing exchange of ideas with arts and scholars.

Advisement and Registration

Initial registration at SIUC is dependent upon acceptance by the University and receipt of all necessary transcripts. Students must also apply, audition and be accepted to the School of Music for full admittance as a Music Major. After initial acceptance to the University and the School of Music , students meet with the School of Music Academic Advisor to plan coursework for the initial semester. The School of Music Academic Advisor office is in the College of Liberal Arts Advisement Office (Faner Hall, room 1229 / 618.453.3388). Continuing registration requires both the student’s academic record and bursar’s account must be in good standing.

There are important dates each semester which determine when you can add and drop classes. Registration calendars can be found here.

IMPORTANT: Students planning to graduate must fill out the required application form before the second Friday of the semester in which you plan to complete degree requirements. Ultimately, it is the student’s personal responsibility to ensure that all requirements for graduation have been fulfilled and that all important deadlines have been met. You can find graduation information from College of Liberal Arts here and University wide information here.


Financial Assistance in the form of music scholarships is available to new and continuing students. Deadline for all scholarship applications for the 2018-2019 year: February 19, 2018.

New students must complete a School of Music scholarship audition application form and audition either in person or by recording. Continuing students may apply each Spring semester for awards made the following Fall semester. These awards, funded through university tuition waivers, endowments, concert revenue and Friends of the School of Music, are available to any music major, minor, or non-major participating in ensembles in good standing. Preference is given to majors. Students must complete the online application for SIU Scholarships (http://siu.academicworks.com).

Graduate Programs

Seniors interested in pursuing a Masters degree at SIU should see the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. David Dillard (ddillard@siu.edu) in Altgeld Hall 103, regarding programs of study, graduate assistantships, and fellowships. Undergraduate students within 12 semester hours of completing requirements for the bachelor's degree may apply to register women for graduate courses for graduate credit. Check the graduate catalog for additional information. All graduate assistants asking to be renewed for a second year are required to apply for Work/Study Program eligibility.

Private Lessons, Convocations and Recital Attendance

All music degree programs require concentrated study in one instrumental or vocal performance area. These individual classes, called “applied music,” consist of a half hour or full hour lesson (depending upon credit hour enrollment) once each week and participation in studio classes and convocations as described below. Lessons for each semester are generally scheduled with instructors during the first week of classes.

All students who are enrolled in applied music for two or more credit hours are required to attend the following:

  • studio class on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m.
  • convocations in Shryock or the OBF Recital Hall during the first studio class of each month (or as scheduled). Convocation performances should be a regular part of every applied student's work. These are scheduled through your teacher.
  • at least seven approved recitals or concerts in which you are not a participant. Recital attendance is registered on a blue card available from your applied teacher.

Most ensemble concerts require a scholarship donation of $12 for general public and $6 for students and Sr. Citizens. School of Music students will be admitted to these concerts free by obtaining a "Music Major Card" from the Main Office at the beginning of the year.

Major Ensemble Policy

All music majors are required to be enrolled in a major ensemble every term of residence. Major ensembles include Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Choral Union, Concert Choir, Guitar Ensemble (guitar majors only), and for upper level piano majors, Accompanying Lab. Auditions are held the first days of the Fall semester only. No audition is required for Marching Band, but students must attend marching Band Camp.


Probation is a written warning to a student that he or she is not fulfilling that person's responsibilities including, but not limited to, ensemble participation non-compliance or failure to perform duties associated with a scholarship. In such cases, a letter will be electronically mailed to the student and a copy kept in the student’s permanent SOM file. The student has until the following semester to remedy the infraction. Once the student is found to be in compliance, probation is lifted, but remains on the student's record. If by the beginning of the semester following the infraction the student remains out of compliance with the probationary policy, the Undergraduate Committee will review the student’s music major and scholarship standing. Students wishing to appeal their probation may submit a written petition to the Undergraduate Committee.

Written Appeals

School of Music students may petition the Undergraduate Committee when there is a conflict regarding the completion of degree requirements. The student should, in writing, explain the nature of the conflict, details of the course(s) in question, all persons involved, and any remedies that have been attempted. Potential issues that may require petition include course conflicts when a student is a double major, or when two required music courses occur at the same or overlapping times. All petitions must be related to a professional matter that affects the completion of degree requirements.

Use of School Instruments

School instruments are available for supplementary instrument classes and in special cases for students who do not have their own instruments. The loan of instruments is subject to rules and fees of the school. Students must contact Dr. George Brozak (gbrozak@siu.edu) for rental forms.

Instrument Rental Fees

Each semester all music majors who are registered in applied music will have a $30 "Instrument Rental Fee" applied to their bursar's bill. This is a maintenance fee for practice room pianos and other classroom instruments. This fee will also be charged to non-music majors who wish to use School of Music instruments each semester. Some music courses incur additional fees that show on student bursar bills.

Lockers and Locks

Lockers are available in Altgeld for use by music students. Choice of lockers must be approved by and registered with the Main Office. Use of a locker requires a $10 fee and use of a School of Music lock. Lockers must be emptied and locks returned at the end of Spring Semester. Personal locks may not be used. Unauthorized locks will be cut from lockers.

Practice Rooms and Keys

Use or practice rooms on the 2nd floor of Altgeld is limited to those assigned an access key. Keys are loaned to the music students with proof of applied registration and the signing of a loan contract. Lost keys or keys turned in after the deadline on the contract will result in a $50 per key charge to that student’s bursar bill.
All practice rooms are to remain locked. Students who have finished practicing should shut and lock the door behind them as they leave. Students may not loan their keys to other students or open practice rooms for a person who does not have official permission and key to use them.

No food or drink is allowed in practice rooms at any time. No objects of any kind may be placed on pianos, except for pencils, music and metronomes which should be placed only on the music rack of the piano. Those who violate these rules may be required to forfeit their practice room key for the semester.

Piano Performance, Piano Pedagogy, and Piano Music Ed majors may reserve a maximum of 3 hours total per day in practice rooms 203, 238, and 240. All other music majors may reserve a maximum of 2 hours total per day in a practice room of their choosing. While students are encouraged to practice more than this, only the number of hours stated above may be reserved by signing on any posted practice room schedule. Students may use any open hours or unclaimed rooms for additional practice. Any person who does not abide by this policy will have all of their reserved times removed from the posted schedules.

No student is allowed to ‘save’ a room by leaving belongings in it for an extended period of time. If a student has vacated a practice room for more than 10 minutes, he/she will automatically forfeit the room to any other student waiting to use a practice room. Please be considerate of others’ belongings if you must move them in order to practice. Out of courtesy to others, please limit your practice sessions to 2 hours at a time in one practice room, or to 3 hours for the specific piano majors listed in the above paragraph.

All concerns regarding the maintenance and repair of pianos should be reported to the School of Music Piano Technician. Use the posted Repair/Maintenance form posted on the Piano Board, Altgeld second floor, to report any problems encountered with pianos. Priority must be given to the piano technician to service the pianos. If a particular piano must be serviced, students practicing in that room are expected to promptly and politely vacate the room at the technician’s request for the duration of the service.

Due to COVID-19, the following protocols will apply for Spring 2021:

  • NO ADVANCE REGISTRATION for practice rooms.
  • Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Maximum capacity in each practice room is 1.
  • Every practice session must be followed by 1 hour air exchange.
  • YOU are responsible for providing your own music stand for practice and rehearsal.
  • YOU are responsible for entering practice spaces with clean hands.
  • YOU are responsible for cleaning surfaces before and after each use.
    • piano keys
    • bench/chair
    • light switch
    • door handle

Violation of practice room policy may result in revoked access privileges.

Listening Room/Computer Lab

Altgeld 107 houses audio playback equipment and computer work stations for ear training practice. (You must provide your own headphones.) This facility is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The lab may also be open some evening and weekend hours, depending upon the scheduling of student help. Check the door to the room for additional hours.

Center for Experimental Music

The Center for Experimental Music (CEM) is a fully equipped multi-station computer music studio for composition, interactive performance and music publishing. Students work on projects with faculty and learn synthetic hardware technology, such as sound editing, processing, sampling and recording, and integrated software programs. Access to CEM requires a small per semester fee and is restricted to Composition students and other approved Music Majors. For more information, contact Dr. Christopher Walczak (walczak@siu.edu).

Building Hours

Altgeld and the Old Baptist Foundation are open as follows:

Regular semester:
     Monday – Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
     Saturday and Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Between Semesters:
     Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
     Saturday – Sunday: Variable

Holidays: Closed

Scheduling of Facilities

School of Music classrooms (Altgeld 106, 114, 119, 201, 301, and OBF 103) may be scheduled by music students on a limited basis. Rehearsal spaces (Altgeld 110, 112, 116, 117, and OBF 104) require a faculty sponsor. Office staff are available in person or by phone to determine room availability. Official reservation requests are made through the School of Music Office Manager. Faculty room requests take precedence over student requests.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, individual room reservations are limited to 1 hour plus 30 minutes Air Exchange.

Advanced or recurring reservations must be made through the front office and confirmed by the Office Manager. Classroom and rehearsal space reservation schedules are printed and posted weekly. Day-of/walk-up reservations are permitted for School of Music students, faculty and staff, according to the above guidelines, in additional to socially-distanced room capacity limits, posted sign-out procedures, and university COVID protocols.

Student Event Scheduling Request Form

Important Dates

Fall Convocations take place in OBF Recital Hall at 10:00am on the first Tuesday of September, October and November; on the last Tuesday before finals week; and in Shryock Auditorium on the last Thursday before finals week.

Spring Convocations take place in OBF Recital Hall at 10:00am on the first Tuesday of February, March and April; on the last Tuesday before finals week; and in Shryock Auditorium on the last Thursday before finals week.
Upper Divisional Exam is scheduled every fall and spring semester on the last Friday before finals week.

Scheduling of Recitals

With approval of your applied teacher, recital dates can be reserved by completing the Scheduling Request form. The procedure to schedule is located in the School of Music Accompanying Handbook (PDF).

Upper Division Examination and 240 Exit Examination

All students wishing to begin applied study at the 340 level must first pass the Upper Divisional Examination. This performance, agreed upon by the applied teacher, takes place before the entire faculty. The Upper Divisional Examination is offered each fall and spring semester on the Friday afternoon of the last day of classes. Undergraduate transfer students are required to spend at least one semester at the 240 level before taking the Upper Divisional Examination. Students must fill out an Upper Divisional Examination form and submit to the Assistant Director of the School of Music by the posted deadline.

All students in the Liberal Arts or Music Business specializations are required to take a 240 level Exit Examination prior to graduation. The content of this examination is established by the individual areas and is administered during the student’s final jury. Failure to pass the 240 exit examination will require a minimum of one additional semester of private study. Completion of the Exit Jury must be documented in the student file.

Orchestra Solo Competition

The School of Music offers auditions for student soloists who wish to perform with the SIUC Symphony Orchestra. The location and time of these auditions will be posted and application forms are then available through the main office. Students must have their applied teacher's permission to apply and must also obtain the Orchestra conductor's approval of the score to be performed. Competition judges may select zero to four winners who then have the opportunity to perform with the orchestra on a concert.

Teacher Education Program

In addition to core curriculum courses, music and music education courses, students pursuing the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education will take several courses in the College of Education and Human Services and student teach for a full semester. As part of the music education degree, and to enroll in most education courses, students must apply to the College of Education and Human Services for entry into the Teacher Education Program (TEP). Students may apply for admission to the TEP upon completion of 30 semester hours of coursework. Along with the completed application, verification of a passing score on either the TAP (Test of Academic Proficiency) or the ACT Plus Writing must be submitted as required by the Illinois State Board of Education for admission into the TEP.

 The TEP Application along with detailed instructions can be found at https://teachereducation.siu.edu/_common/documents/tep-application-updated-fall-2019.pdf.

Further information on the Teacher Education Program and the TEP can be found online at http://ehs.siu.edu/tep/. Application deadlines are January 10 for Spring admission, and August 15 for Fall admission. For successful completion of the Music Education degree, students should adhere to the prescribed curricular plan. Students must establish contact with the Coordinator of Music Education, Dr. James Reifinger reifinger@siu.edu.

Music Education in the School of Music

Many opportunities exist in the School of Music to help prepare for the challenging profession of music teaching. Opportunities exist for paid assistants for various summer music camps held at SIUC (gbrozak@siu.edu) and for teaching in the SIU Community Arts Outreach - College of Liberal Arts (melton@siu.edu). Other on-campus activities such as the Heartland Honor Band and Choir, District VI Choral Workshop and Music in Motion Marching Band competition provide many opportunities for volunteer leadership opportunities.

Health and Safety Information and Recommendations for Student Musicians

Click here to go to this web page

Area Handbooks

Accompanying Area Handbook (PDF) — includes recital scheduling procedures
Brass Area Handbook (PDF)
Percussion Area Handbook (PDF)
Piano Area Handbook (PDF)
String Area Handbook (PDF)
Vocal Area Handbook (PDF)
Woodwind Area Handbook (PDF)

Student Organizations

National Association for Music Educators

The National Association for Music Educators is the student professional organization in music education. The local chapter elects officers, plans monthly programs on topics from jazz education to teachers' unions, and attends MENC conventions where they hear outstanding ensembles, share experiences with students from other colleges, meet experienced teachers and view the displays of instruments and music. Members receive the Music Educators Journal and the state journal. Membership information and forms can be obtained from the CMENC advisor.

Music Business Association

The Music Business Association is a student professional organization whose purpose is to provide an opportunity for networking and camaraderie among both students majoring in music business at SIUC and also other students interested in the Music Business Association music industry; furnish a forum for topical programs, speakers and demonstrations that give focus to areas of interest to its members and/or otherwise enhance the present music business curriculum at SIUC; build a library of resources and a network of SIUC music business alumni for use by MBA members, particularly graduating seniors, to facilitate placement in an ever competitive job market; develop and maintain organization projects (e.g. promotional services to the SIUC School of Music, SIUC music ensembles or local bands) that allow MBA members hands-on experience in a variety of facets of the music industry; nurture a sense of community within the SIUC School of Music and participate in impacting the future of the music business curriculum at SIUC.


The student chapter of the American Choral Directors Association is the professional organization for students interested in choral music, either as conductors or participants. The local chapter elects officers, plans programs and attends concerts of interest. Additionally, students attend both divisional and national conventions when the trips are feasible. Members receive the Choral Journal, the professional magazine published monthly by the American Choral Directors Association.

Music Fraternity Organizations

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the oldest and largest national professional music fraternity for men, is represented on the SIUC by the Epsilon Kappa Chapter. The fraternity was founded in 1898 and its purposes are: to encourage and actively support the highest standards of creativity, performance, education and research in America; to develop and encourage loyalty to the Alma Mater; to foster the mutual welfare and brotherhood of students of music; to develop the truest fraternal spirit among its members; and to instill in all people an awareness of music's important role in the enrichment of the human spirit.

Sigma Alpha Iota, the newest organization in the School of Music, is open to any woman who participates in a School of Music ensemble. This is an independent organization formed by a group of women in the School of Music at SIUC in March of 1994 and received their charter in May of 1998. Their objectives are to serve SIU, the community, and the School of Music; to promote the growth of composition, scholarship and music education; and to unite women in the bonds of sisterhood through music.

Student Work Jobs

The School of Music sometimes hires students to help in the main office, the band office, the orchestra office, at concerts and recitals, and in recording services. Student counselors/workers are also hired for Summer Music Camps and the Summer Music Festival. Check with supervisors in those areas for availability of positions.

Recording Service Policies

  1. Undergraduate recitals are not recorded automatically. If you wish to contract with Recording Services the fee must be paid at the time your scheduling request is received. All fees go towards maintaining and purchasing equipment.
  2. Scheduling requests made less than two weeks before recital date may not be recorded due to conflicts. Fees are reimbursed if recording or recital does not take place.
  3. Graduate recitals are recorded automatically if part of the degree requirement.
  4. University Ensembles and faculty recitals are recorded automatically.
  5. Visiting artist recitals are recorded only with the permission of the performer.
  6. Masters of all recordings are kept on file by the Recording Service.
  7. Each performer will receive one copy of the recording free of charge. Larger ensemble performers need to pay for copies.
  8. Copies of recordings are available by request to the School of Music Main Office. Some recordings of faculty and guest artists may not be available if the performers do not give permission to copy. All copies must adhere to Copyright Law.
  9. Master recordings are made using a selection of high-quality microphones and recording equipment. It is up to the discretion of the Recording Engineer as to the setup of the recording.
  10. Recording sessions for the making of contest and audition recordings are possible. Please contact the Recording Service as soon as possible to make arrangements, as the facilities are often difficult to schedule. A deposit may be required.

Student Concerns

If a student would like to express concern about a School of Music situation involving another student or faculty, they may do so by emailing music@siu.edu or by scheduling a conference with the School of Music Director or Assistant Director (phone 618.453.2871 for appointment).